A lady in a santa hat holds some leaflets

Santa in the Shop

Children are being urged to look out for Santa this Christmas, as he has been seen hiding in shop windows: Santa in the Shop is returning for the second year and will run throughout advent – from 1st to 24th December.

The Santa in the Shop trail encourages families to find a Santa hidden in twelve of Knutsford shop’s Christmas windows.  Entry forms can be picked up from Knutsford Library, Market Hall, Council Offices, and selected shops. When completed, the form can be dropped off at Santa’s special post box in Little Waitrose. All correctly completed forms will be entered into a prize draw with the winners announced in early January.

Sandra Curties, Town Centre Manager at Knutsford Town Council said: “This is a sweet and easy trail for Christmas, a great way of exploring our beautiful town and enjoying the Christmas lights and festive windows.  We hope families enjoy spotting our little Santas!”

If visiting the town centre by car do not forget there is free parking on Saturday December 11th December and 17th December from 10 am in Silk Mill, King and Princess Street car parks.

Press contact: sandra.curties@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk

Photo Credit: Sandra Curties

60 King Street with Bunting

Council to consider the sale of 60 King Street

At its January 9th meeting, the Town Council will consider a recommendation from its Assets and Operations Committee that the freehold for 60 King Street be put on the market.

The property was tenanted until 2019 when, due to insolvency of the tenant the lease was forfeit. Attempts to secure a new commercial tenant were unsuccessful due to the scale of the building and the renovation works that are required to launch a new business from the premises. This has been compounded by the unprecedented economic climate the UK has faced since COVID and prospective tenants have stated that they would not be willing to invest the sums required in a building for which they only hold a lease.

Over the last 18 months, the Town Council has explored the option of seeking heritage lottery funding to renovate and re-imagine the building as a hybrid community/commercial space.  Consultation to support this was undertaken earlier this year and identified potential uses which would be supported by the community. However, moving this forward would now require significant expenditure to develop a comprehensive funding bid with no certainty that the funds would be secured. On balance, the committee felt continuing with this approach presented an unacceptable risk to public finances and that alternative means of providing the facilities and services the community needs would be more sustainable.

The Town Council has received a number of informal expressions of interest for acquiring the freehold over the past three years and local estate agents Savills have advised a guide price for a sale in the region of £1.1m. Should the council resolve to sell the building an agent will be appointed, and a competitive marketing process commenced to secure the best sale for Knutsford.

Town Mayor, Cllr Mike Houghton said “The recommendation from our Assets Committee will be debated by the whole council in January when a formal decision will be made. In the interim we welcome the views of our residents which can be submitted to the Town Clerk or to any councillors”

Knutsford Christmas Market marks start of festive season in 2 weeks

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Knutsford and the town’s favourite Christmas event is just around the corner!

Knutsford Christmas Market marks the start of the festive season in Knutsford and it is just three weeks away until the event returns for its 10th market. The market will be held on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th December, featuring over 130 artisan traders on each day selling a variety of fine local goods.

The Saturday market runs from 12-7pm and coincides with the Christmas Light Switch On, which is preceded by a programme of live entertainment in Canute Place from 1pm, before the lights are switched on for the festive season by the Mayor of Knutsford at 6pm!

The Santa Parade will also be held on 3rd December, kicking off at 5pm from the bottom of King Street, up Minshull Street before heading into Canute Place and dropping Santa off at the stage ready for the switch on. The parade features live brass music from City of Chester Brass Band and performances from Travelling Light Circus LED light performers, followed by Santa in his sleigh!

Families can visit Santa in his grotto on Silk Mill Street from 12-4.30pm on Saturday 3rd and 11am-4pm on Sunday 4th December. The grotto is kindly supported by CAFT and Knutsford Hosts, and a suggested £3 donation per child will be donated to CAFT.

On Sunday 4th December you can enjoy live music on Princess Street from 12-4pm from Get Back Band Buskers and Knutsford Beats, all of whom will be raising money for various charities.

There will be an array of tasty street food options, bars selling cocktails, beers and mulled wine and coffee on offer each day to keep you fed and warm whilst you browse through the market. What better way to start your Christmas shopping?

For more information regarding the market, visit knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or follow the event on social media. You can also call 01565 653 929 for more information.

An old postcard view of Heathfield Square

Residents invited to inform conservation area review

Residents are invited to have their say on a review of two of the town’s conservation arears.

Conservation areas are designated places of ‘special architectural or historic interest where it is desirable to preserve and enhance the character and appearance’ and five of the 77 conservation areas in Cheshire East are in Knutsford: Cross Town (designated in 2006), Heathfield Square (2006), Legh Road (1976), Town Centre (1989) and St John’s (1994). Following the commitment made in the Knutsford Neighbourhood Plan, Knutsford Town Council is leading a review of the five conservation areas in the town.

A key part of conserving a conservation area is having an up-to-date appraisal and management plan which ensures their special qualities are understood and their character and appearance are not compromised by development proposals and small-scale incremental change.

Work on the Legh Road conservation area appraisal and management plan was completed in 2021 and is awaiting formal public consultation from Cheshire East Council.

The Town Council is currently working with Donald Insall Associates to undertake a review of the four remaining conservation areas, starting with Heathfield Square and St John’s.

The Heathfield Square conservation area was last appraised in 2006 when it was created, this small area comprises Knutsford’s first council houses, built as ‘homes for heroes’ after the first world war. The St John’s conservation area covers the Victorian housing along St John’s Road, St John’s Avenue and County Terrace, as well as some of the houses on Bexton Road. There is currently no appraisal or management plan for this conservation area.

Residents interested in these conservation areas are invited to share their views at engagement sessions taking place on Saturday 19th November at the Town Council Offices. Two drop-in sessions are running from 10:30-12:00 and 12:30-14:00.

Work on the Town Centre and Crosstown conservation areas will commence in early 2023.

Radchester's garden ornaments market stall in knutsford market hall

Family-run business selling bespoke garden ornaments joins Knutsford Market Hall

Give your garden some personality and head on down to Knutsford Market Hall – as Radchester’s Garden Ornaments opened their doors last week (Tuesday 1st November).

They are a family-run business offering a range of unique products that are designed and handcrafted by themselves, from the Manchester Bee to Paddington Bear. So, whether you’re looking for a quirky gift idea or a full garden makeover, there’s something for everyone!

They opened their doors in Marton back in 2020 with the aim of bringing back that extra sparkle to your green space and have since dreamed of opening a local pop-up shop. Esther, the stall owner, said: ‘’Having grown up in Knutsford, I am familiar with the Town and hope to add to the already vibrant Market Hall and see some familiar faces along the way! It would be great to see some local support for the Market, which was a much-enjoyed trip on a Saturday morning as a child.’’

Starting from prices as low as £2, there are plenty of fun and affordable items. So, get your Christmas shopping in early and add a truly personal touch to someone’s garden this year!

The Market Hall is open from 8am – 4pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Shop local this winter and come and see the range of products the market has to offer!

For inquiries, call 01565 653929 or email enquiries@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

Address: Knutsford Market Hall, Silk Mill St, Knutsford, WA16 6DF.

Knutsford Town Mayor releasing Charity Ball Tickets

There is less than one month to go until Town Mayor Cllr Mike Houghton holds a Charity Ball to raise funds for Knutsford Scouts and the UK Men’s Sheds Association, his chosen charities for the year.

 

The Winter Wonderland Ball, which this year is being held at Cottons Hotel, will take place on Friday 25th November. The ball is the Mayor’s biggest fundraising event of the year and promises to be a glamorous and fun filled evening with entertainment from DJ Pete Deane and a close up magician.

 

Cllr Houghton said “Please accept this as my invitation to each of you to all to come along and join me for an evening of good food and great entertainment. I hope to raise enough money on the night to help to secure the future of two important groups in Knutsford, both of which promote positive mental health within our community.”

 

Tickets are available for the night at £65 per person for a delicious 3-course meal, arrival drink and entertainment.  To book your place you can contact the Civic Events Officer Michelle Bate  on 01565 653929 or email michelle.bate@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk. Get your tickets this week or you might miss out!

 

Raffle tickets are also now on sale for the Mayor’s Prize Draw at £2 each with a range of great prizes up for grabs. The raffle will be drawn at the Ball but anyone can purchase tickets by contacting Michelle or visiting the Council Offices.

 

Any businesses wishing to make a prize donation for the raffle or auction can contact Michelle at the details above.

The mayor holding a big cheque with just drop in charity

Youth Counselling Service ‘Just Drop-In’ receive grant from Knutsford Town Council

‘Just Drop-In’, the Macclesfield-based youth counselling service, is one of the three organisations this year that have received support through Knutsford Town Council’s community grant scheme.

Our Community Grant Scheme is one of our initiatives that aims to support local charities, organisations or CICs that are making a positive impact on the community. We offer donations of up to £200, small grants of up to £1,500, and large grants of anything over £1,500. You can read our grants policy and more information on how to apply here.

Just Drop-In has been significantly impacting the lives of children and young people struggling with their mental health and well-being. The service is available for people aged 12-24 who live in the north of Cheshire East (Macclesfield, Poynton, Wilmslow, Handforth, Knutsford, and the villages in between), and is completely free and accessible!

They have been working diligently to achieve excellent satisfaction rates, stating that around 80% of young people who use their service have an improved well-being score at the end of their sessions, and 98% would rate their services as good.

Knutsford Town Council has awarded the service £1,460, which will go towards the costs of two volunteer Counsellors to deliver their services in Knutsford. This will include clinical supervision, travel, and training expenses for six months.

Ann Wright, the Chief Officer, said: ‘’Our charity is committed to providing emotional health support to children in Knutsford and this wonderful grant from the Town Council will help us to achieve this commitment. We greatly appreciate the support.’’

We are excited to be supporting their work and admire the impact the charity has on the lives of young people in the area. If you’d like to learn more, visit their website: https://www.justdropin.co.uk/

the mayor holding a big cheque

Together for Theatre receive £200 from Community Grant Scheme

Knutsford Town Council has donated £200 to Knutsford Together for Theatre Productions as part of our Community Grant Scheme.

The donation will be put towards the production costs of their upcoming performance ‘’Rent’’, which is set to take place in August 2023 and tells the story of a group of young bohemians and their battle against AIDS.

Ben Evans-Clarke, the vice-chairman and treasurer of Knutsford Together for Theatre, said ‘’ Together for Theatre Productions is a newly formed musical theatre society, aiming to bring together local performers from all walks of life. The grant we have been kindly provided by Knutsford Town Council will go towards allowing us to bring our forthcoming production of Rent to the Knutsford Little Theatre stage, supporting our members to display their skills to a wide audience.’’

The Community Grant Scheme was introduced to support projects such as this one, or any groups and ventures that serve the community of Knutsford. Organisations, charities, and CICs can receive either a donation of up to £200, a small grant of up to £1,500, or a large grant of anything over £1,500.

It’s easy to apply, your charity or organisation just needs to hit at least one of our funding objectives! Have a look and find out more here:  https://www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/services/community-grants

If you’re interested in joining Together for Theatre or would like to book tickets for Rent, check out their website here: https://www.togetherfortheatre.co.uk/

A scary clown and two children in skeleton cosutmes

Three weeks until Pumpkin Path returns

Spooky season is upon us and it’s just a few weeks until Knutsford’s favourite Halloween event is back for three hours of spooktacular fun!

Knutsford Pumpkin Path returns this year on Halloween evening, Monday 31st October, from 4pm to 7pm. The event will be held in Knutsford Town Centre, in a closure area of King Street, Minshull Street, Church Hill and Regent Street, which are closed to traffic to facilitate the event.

The event is very kindly sponsored by Redrow and The Mere Nature Kindergarten, whose generous support has helped to make this event possible!

Families can collect an entry form in advance of the event or on the night and follow the hints on the included map to find 11 pumpkins hidden around the closure area. All the pumpkins have a letter carved into them; find all the pumpkins and use the letters to spell the hidden phrase.

You’ll find lots of fun on your way, from themed character actors to live entertainment! Fuschia School of Dance will entertain you on King Steet near Giovannis at 5pm and 6pm, while Knutsford Beats will sing some songs at the bottom of Regent Street at 5.30pm and 6.30pm.

Don’t forget to visit Wallwood (the wooded area at the top of King Street, opposite Tatton Park) for some spooky fun. You can also enter our Pumpkin Carving competition and drop your pumpkin off here in Wallwood from 4pm to 5pm, and the Mayor of Knutsford will judge the best ones at 5.15pm (with prizes up for grabs for the top three!)

Remember to vote for your favourite Halloween window display on your entry form and drop off your completed entry form to one of the post boxes in Wallwood or at 60 King Street (the old Belle Epoque building).

The event is free to enter however an optional donation of £1 per child will be graciously accepted to help cover some of the event costs. Entry forms can be collected on the night from one of four desks on King Street and one on Minshull Street.

To find out more about the event, visit www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or email enquiries@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk, or alternatively you can call 01565 653 929.

Two children are ready to plant bulbs - centre is a Knutsford Town Council bag and in the foreground orange leaves fallen from the trees

Big Bulb Plant returns for 2022

Knutsford residents are invited to help the town bloom in Spring 2023 as the Knutsford Big Bulb Plant returns for a second year.

This community-led bulb planting programme puts the bulbs in the hands of residents – inviting them to host a bulb planting event on their neighbourhood green spaces. A resident wanting to see bulbs spring up every year just needs to register the location, date and time of their planned event on the Town Council website.

The council will then prepare a selection of bulbs suitable for the space – from daffodils and tulips to bluebell, winter aconites and wild garlic. The council will also provide some pre-printed leaflets to deliver to neighbours to invite them to come along.

Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Green said “The Big Bulb Plant aims to see our town bursting with colour every spring whilst brining neighbours together to make a little improvement to the green spaces and verges near them.”

“I’ll be leading a session my neighbours on Manor Park South and events are also already planned for Manor Crescent, Queensway and Green Lane.”

The Big Bulb Plant runs across the whole of October, and last year saw 24 verges and greens planted with bulbs by the local community. Residents are able to re-plant the same greens to add more colour and variety for 2023.

To find out more and register an event head to: www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/big-bulb-plant

The Big Bulb Plant is part of the council’s Nature Action Plan through which it aims to increase biodiversity across the town.